Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

I am about to start week three of a four-week road show and the effects of hotel life are beginning to wear on me. Don’t get me wrong—I love my work and I am happy to have the opportunity to speak in front of thousands of people across the country, but traveling to a new city every day is exhausting. So far I have been to Maine, Boston, Connecticut and New York, four cities in Florida, and I leave today for the west coast. Sadly, my schedule does not leave much time to explore the cities I visit and the best I can hope for is the chance to visit a few good restaurants. I often get comments from friends about much fun I must be having seeing new places, but the truth is the most exotic place I have been on this trip is the inside of a hotel ballroom. I am also spending a great deal of time in airports, taxis and hotel rooms, which should give me plenty of time to think about new marketing ideas and promotional products, but lately I find myself daydreaming about being at home.

When I’m on the road, I try to bring some of the comforts of home with me—I never travel without my ipod and noise cancelling headphones, my pillow and my pocket dictionary. Having my own pillow increases my odds of getting a full night of sleep and the dictionary gives me something to do when my insomnia gets the best of me. If you have employees or clients who spend a lot of time on the road, think about promotional gifts that make them feel at home when they can’t be. Consider giving your globe trotting customers comfort items like travel pillows, sleep masks or something really special, like the Illusion Series Manicure Set…because nothing is more uncomfortable than a hangnail. They will think of your every time they look at their well-groomed hands and are sure to appreciate your dedication to the health of their cuticles.

All this talk about travel reminds me that I’ve got to finish packing and spend a little time with Mrs. Winston before I leave for Santa Monica. I know it sounds glamorous, but I assure you, I’ll never set foot on the beach. Until next time, I’ll leave you with this thought from my good friend Charlie Kuralt, “Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything.”